General Garden Care

February

Witch hazel JanuaryContinue to order seed, bulb, and nursery catalogs to assist in planning your garden for the upcoming year. To help you choose the best plants for your garden, take advantage of the resources of the Chicago Botanic Garden's Best Plants Web site, the Plant Information Service, Lenhardt Library, or the Joseph Regenstein, Jr. School of the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Unseasonably warm and dry winter weather will further stress plants that were not watered adequately during a dry Chicago autumn. During periods of winter thaw, water evergreens, broadleaved evergreens, and conifers as needed. Water newly planted trees and shrubs and all plants, including turf, that might be in the path of salt spray from salted roads.

Continue to check plants for signs of damage from weather or animals.

If necessary, continue to use potassium- or calcium-based de-icing products on walkways rather than sodium-based products. If possible, consider using sand on slippery surfaces. Always shovel snow before applying any product.